31-Mar-2018 written by : FSI-Team
Gone are the days when you had to pay for a credit report. Thanks to the Reserve Bank of India, now you can get one free credit report every year from all the credit rating agencies in India including CIBIL, Equifax, etc.
Your free credit report can tell a lot of things including your creditworthiness, your repayment history of various loans, loan inquiries, etc. All this information is important to secure your financial future as well as to identify frauds easily. However, with this kind of convenience, the question has to be asked- does it make sense?
When RBI announced that the credit rating agencies must provide one free credit report to the individuals every year, you can imagine why the agencies were not pleased. However, as unhappy they were with the RBI’s new rule, they knew they had to comply nevertheless.
Although the free credit report is extremely useful for many reasons, the problem is that the process for obtaining one hasn't been simplified enough for the common man. For instance, we can take a look at the process of getting one from the top 3 credit rating bureaus:
If you go to the official website home page of Equifax, you can clearly see a link for getting your free report. This is the entire process for the same right here:
Just like Equifax, CIBIL has put a link for free CIBIL report on its website. However, you won't be able to find it that easily as it's located below the frontpage content and you have to scroll down to find it. On the other hand, the "Get Your CIBIL Score" link which is highlighted and put on the top of the website will take you to its subscription plans that are available for 1 month, 6 months, or 1 year, all of which are paid.
A general user who isn't aware that CIBIL is required to offer a free report to them won't be able to find about it. They are more likely to reach the paid subscriptions page and pay for their report instead.
CRIF High Mark is another major credit rating firm in the country. However, here again, you will find the same lack of convenience and advertisement for the free credit report feature that can be of great use for the consumers who are worried that they may have a low score, or that their name could be on the loan defaulters list.
Although the credit rating agencies have modified their web portals to comply with RBI's regulations, they can certainly do a better job at educating the consumers and letting more and more of them find about and use the free report facility. That said, those who can get their hands on their report can enjoy the following benefits:
Free reports have their uses and there is no reason for you to not avail the service. That said, you may want to invest in a subscription plan still as you must check your report at least once every few months.